As a global digital agency that works with some of the world’s best-known brands, Valtech is well-acquainted with the demands placed on multi-brand companies to deliver impactful experiences that resonate globally.

During a breakout session at Sitecore DX 2023 Europe, Una Verhoeven, VP Global Technology at Valtech and Sultan Semlali, Director of Customer Transformation, EMEA, at Sitecore shared insights on how they are helping customers embrace automation to go global at scale using XM Cloud.

Semlali kicked off the session by discussing the key factors that businesses should consider and address when planning to scale globally:

  • Economy of scale: Businesses need to consolidate resources, technology, and bring the best elements together to drive innovation and achieve economy of scale.
  • Sustainable processes: In the past when companies were trying to set up websites in different regions, they made the mistake of reinventing the wheel instead of looking at how they could make things reusable by taking the best practices and technology from different regions and spreading those processes across each market.
  • Overcoming quality challenges: When the branding, customer experience, and designs are inconsistent, it has the potential to have a huge impact on the brand. By embracing automation, it’s possible to mitigate these challenges.
  • Lack of widespread innovation: Some organizations lack innovation or have very small teams that hinder progress on a broader scale. Semlali referenced one brand that was scaling globally, but their presence in Thailand had just two people driving the entire digital experience, while in other regions they had 220 people. Having these different types of teams and processes made it very difficult for them to drive innovation across the board. When you consider the importance of competitor advantage, being able to drive innovation on a global scale is crucial.

Key success factors for scaling globally

Based on the pillars of reusability and innovation, Verhoeven outlined five important steps necessary for scaling globally:

  • Unification of technologies: If a company has made acquisitions, they may have to manage many different systems, technologies, and licenses. A unified approach removes silos and allows organizations to work in a streamlined way.
  • Introduction of workflows and processes: Maintaining consistency in workflows and processes allows companies to roll out new markets quickly and easily.
  • Automation: Verhoeven explained that automation is important because you don’t want to do manual work at scale – it is costly and prone to error. One of the biggest mistakes that Valtech has seen is when a company cuts costs and budget on automation.
  • Design system: A design system consisting of reusable components is one of the most important keys to success in digital transformation and usability.
  • Quality gateways: Measuring what you deliver is crucial – at the end of the day, everything you roll out impacts your customer experience.

The rise of the digital factory

Discussing the evolution of digital factories from 2015-18, Semlali underlined their importance in driving forward digital transformation.

“The emphasis is on producing something concrete that you can re-use, where you bring not only the technology together, but also the processes, and all the best practices, and multidisciplinary teams together to drive that,” Semlali said.

Recognizing that digital factories can present challenges to companies for various reasons, Verhoeven discussed some common digital factory challenges, such as deployment and how the launch of XM Cloud means Valtech has found a way to overcome these challenges.

Future-proofing for digital factories: Valtech Catalyst

Thanks to XM Cloud, Valtech is transforming their clients’ businesses by leveraging automated processes, best-of-breed architecture, and composable stack readiness. With the new approach that takes into account the design system and the business needs, and consolidates content and design, the average site rollout has been reduced from an average of 20-47 days to only 10-15 days.

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Sharing Valtech’s process, Verhoeven described the ease at which they can roll out a brand in 250 markets within a short time scale. Key to the process is a component library. Wireframes are created in a bespoke way per customer and per brand.

Valtech has created a user interface where customers can easily cherry-pick what they want to include. A company may have a very similar look and feel across all brands, or they may be more innovative with a very distinctive look and feel for each brand. They can apply a theme in this case or create a new one. It’s a process of connecting with different creative platforms. In a couple of clicks, an entire market or country can be set up without a developer’s input.

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This means if a company decides to rebrand, there’s no need to redo all the components that have been built – the only thing required is content editing. In the past, a developer would need to create a website, which would then go to the content team, then the QA, and it could take a month before it was possible to see any changes or progress.

Delivering transformative results

By introducing a new approach, Valtech has cut down on rollout times significantly. With their automated deployment system, the agency is already enabling brands to deploy more quickly and consistently to Sitecore XM Cloud, reducing site rollout times by up to 40%.

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Find out more about how Sitecore is helping the world’s favorite brands deliver tailored experiences on a global scale.

Fiona Hilliard is a Content Marketing Manager at Sitecore. Connect with her on LinkedIn.